Making measurement of ASN progress in learning equitable

South Lanarkshire Council

Education in South Lanarkshire is underpinned by an inclusive ethos.
The Council aims to ensure that all learners are treated fairly, have equality of opportunity and equity in the measurement of their progress.

“Connecting Steps from B Squared is the best inclusive and equitable solution for the assessment of our pupils with Additional Support Needs.”

Aisling Boyle, Quality Improvement Officer – Inclusive Education Services, South Lanarkshire Council (SLC)

SLC is using B Squared’s Connecting Steps assessment software with our Steps for Excellence and Senior Phase SQA assessment frameworks.

The Connecting Steps Pre-Early Milestones are based on the Education Scotland Milestones in numeracy, literacy, and health & well being. Pre-Early and CfE Levels 1-3 are broken into 8 levels each, allowing tracking and monitoring of progress at any pace.

SQA in Senior Phase is based on the outcomes of the courses and can be measured at an individual pace.

B Squared’s evidence of learning tool, Evisense allows diverse, bespoke gathering of evidence to support assessment and parental engagement.

Making measurement of ASN progress in learning equitable

The South Lanarkshire Inclusive Education Service in Scotland uses B Squared in 5 of their Additional Support Needs (ASN) schools and in 17 ASN bases/units, where there are pupils with complex learning needs. The pupils, supported by the Service have a wide range of needs. It is vital to be able to track, monitor and celebrate the learning achievements made by each pupil, however small and individual their steps of progress.

ASN Establishments knew their pupils were making progress but wanted to track and monitor smaller steps of progress, to address the pace of learning in ASN and allow achievement to be seen. Using B Squared’s Connecting Steps assessment software and Scottish Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) assessment frameworks, they can now track pupils’ progress at any pace. These achievements are supported using our digital learning journal Evisense to showcase evidence of learning and encourage parental engagement. This means progress can now be demonstrated equitably for ALL pupils, at all levels, in South Lanarkshire Council (SLC).

Identifying the need for change

SLC needed to show smaller steps of progress for its pupils with ASN. Learning progress is measured by the Individual Milestones these pupils meet. For many pupils in ASN settings, the Milestones they meet are Pre-Early CfE level. The ASN establishments needed to show a depth of detail within Individual Milestones and what this means for progress. When practitioners were setting, tracking and monitoring progress in these Pre-Early level Milestones, they needed a uniform system to do so and to evidence these small steps. The system needed to allow small enough progress steps to be measured within Early, First, Second and Third level also, to demonstrate progress equitably for all ASN learners.

ASN settings were creating data in individual ways to report centrally on pupil progress and needed to find a way to allow rich and relevant data analysis, uniformly. There was a need to be able to accurately analyse trends and develop planning in ASN settings to drive improvement.

For Inspections and Quality Improvement, ASN settings in Scotland have the same level of scrutiny as mainstream schools. Staff wanted an equitable system for pupils with ASN. They needed relevant tracking and monitoring, effective parental reporting, better quality of evidence, personalised curricular planning, as well as tracking of pace of learning and assessment. They were looking for a true virtual, comparator based, relevant measurement of data for their moderation and improvement planning.

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How does B Squared bring equity?

SLC reports that Connecting Steps enables ALL of its schools to:

  • Support an inclusive assessment system by recording small steps of development.
  • Provide detailed pupil progress data that can be built into reports and shared.
  • Plan next steps for individual pupils and manage change effectively.

Whilst Evisense allows diverse recording of evidence on an accessible platform, that can be shared by parents.


Staff identified the following benefits of using Connecting Steps and Evisense to assess pupils with ASN.

  • Streamlines tracking and evidencing – speeds up processes and encourages tracking on a regular basis to show progress as it happens.
  • Wide range of methods of demonstrating progress – these can be tailored for the pupil, subject, establishment. Great for tracking progress of pupils with spiky profiles.
  • Progress is shown in incremental steps against the Benchmarks – it’s even broken down within the Benchmarks and Milestones. Progress is also shown within Experiences and Outcomes (E’s and O’s) before a student achieves them.
  • Easier to keep track of what has been worked on within departments – ideal for staff sharing classes.
  • Aids communication between establishments, colleagues, and outside agencies – Connecting Steps assessment goes all through from Primary to Secondary, easing transition. S1 teachers can have full access to a pupil’s achievements from Primary on day 1 of Secondary. Progress reports can also be quickly and easily shared with other professionals to give them a full picture of a pupil’s attainment.

22 ASN provisions in SLC are already using Connecting Steps and Evisense. Data gathered about the progress of pupils with ASN is now more relevant and accurate. This brings it in line with Mainstream, achieving the Council’s aim to make measurement of ASN progress in learning equitable.

What do ASN practitioners think?

“The benefits are outstanding! Connecting Steps allows me to track the progress of each individual pupil seamlessly across all strands. We can track every little bit of progress and celebrate every success. I can clearly see improvements and areas where things are not working so well. Best of all it’s easy and flexible to use.”

“Using Evisense, I can capture those little magic moments in teaching that really demonstrate learning.”

“Now we can see how a child is improving no matter how small the improvement.”

“We are so happy to at last be able to track the progression of ALL of our learners.”

To find out how B Squared can help your school
Call: 01252 870 133

Want an easy way to show pupil progress?

Book a FREE online meeting to find out how we can help make assessment easier for your school

Book a FREE Online Meeting